/Boston College fires basketball coach Jim Christian in midst of 3-13 season
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Boston College fires basketball coach Jim Christian in midst of 3-13 season

Boston College severed ties with men’s basketball coach Jim Christian on Monday, firing him in the middle of his seventh season coaching the Eagles program and relieving him of his duties effectively immediately with five regular-season games remaining.

Athletic director Pat Kraft, who was hired by Boston College from Temple last summer, announced the move Monday.

“I know that Jim gave everything that he had into leading our program and mentoring our student-athletes,” Kraft said. “Ultimately, the program is not headed in the right direction and though I hesitate to make a mid-season coaching change in any sport, now is the right time for us to look forward. We wish Jim and his family all the best in their future endeavors and thank them for their service to Boston College.”

Assistant coach Scott Spinelli will serve as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season. A national search will commence immediately to find Christian’s successor, Kraft said.

Christian had just one winning season during his stint with the program — a 19-16 campaign in 2017-18 — and struggled to gain traction before it and after. He amassed a 78-132 overall record and went 26-94 in ACC play.

Before Boston College hired Christian in 2014, he had no experience at the power conference level but had found some success coaching mid-majors. He led Kent State to a 137-59 record in the early 2000s. He also coached at Ohio prior to the Eagles gig, where for the Bobcats he helped them to a 49-22 record and a regular season conference championship.

In between those jobs, however, he struggled at TCU during its last years in the Mountain West. TCU went 56-73.

Despite not finishing the season, Christian and Boston College were already ensured a sixth losing season under his watch. The Eagles are 3-13 on the season as they, along with dozens of programs across the country, had recently struggled with COVID-19 issues. After going on pause last month, they returned to action Feb. 6 shorthanded, falling 81-65 to NC State with only four eligible scholarship players.